Russel has a machine shop on Downing Street. He is planning on expanding his workshop to meet the increasing demands of his customers. Currently there are four work centers in his shop. He feels that an expected increase demand in the near future might be satisfactorily met by equipping his machine shop with four new work centers. The diagram below gives a schematic layout of a machine shop with its existing work centers designated by squares 1, 2, 3 and 4. Four new work centers I, II, III, and IV are to be added to the shop at locations designated by circles a, b, c, and d. The objective is to assign the new centers to the proposed locations to minimize the total materials handling traffic between the existing centers and the proposed ones. Table below summarizes the frequency of trips between the new centers and the old ones. Materials handling equipment travels along the rectangular aisles intersecting at the locations of the centers.
Frequency of trips
The situation can be modeled using mathematical programming and solved using excel. The EXCEL solution can be downloaded here.